Step-by-Step: Homemade Elderberry Syrup for Immune Support!

Elderberry syrup is a healthy alternative remedy to have on hand during cold and flu season. It's very high in vitamin A, vitamin C, quercitin, and is anti-inflammatory.
Step-by-Step: Homemade Elderberry Syrup for Immune Support! | Real Food RN

Even though I worked in a hospital, I still do not turn to medication to treat or prevent illness in my family. In fact, my children have never even had antibiotics! In my granola mama journey to achieve optimum health for my babies, I have focused more so on prevention, and it seems to have paid off with some very healthy little ones.

When the flu season hits, it can hit HARD. I saw it both at work and out in the community. That’s when I decided to take action and keep it out of my home by whipping up some Homemade Elderberry Syrup!  

Why is elderberry syrup healthy? Because elderberries….

  • are very high in vitamin A
  • have more vitamin C than oranges
  • are very high in quercitin (an antioxidant)
  • are anti-inflammatory
  • possess antiviral properties that have been shown to treat colds and flu
Step-by-Step: Homemade Elderberry Syrup for Immune Support! | Real Food RN

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

When the flu season hits, it can hit HARD. That's why I take preventative action to keep it out of my home by whipping up some Homemade Elderberry Syrup. This is super healthy and really helps boost the immune system.



    1. Pour water into a medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves (do not add honey yet, because the heat will destroy many of its medicinal benefits).
    2. Bring to a boil and then cover (with the lid slightly cracked so steam can come out as it reduces) and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half.
    3. At that point, remove from heat and let cool enough to be handled.
    4. Pour through a strainer into a glass bowl.

    5. Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm.
    6. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
    7. When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a pint-sized mason jar or 16-ounce glass bottle of some kind (I used an old dressing bottle).
    8. Store Homemade Elderberry Syrup in the fridge, it will last several months!


I also use Homemade Elderberry Syrup to make my Healthy Gummies for Colds, Flu, and Sleep. My kids LOVE them!


  • The standard dose is 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp for kids and 1/2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults.
  • If the flu does strike, take the normal dose every 2-3 hours instead of once a day until symptoms disappear.
  • Also, it tastes great on pancakes or ice cream!

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Watch the video recipe below

Just a few words on the alternative (Tamiflu)…

Back in 2008, the FDA started reviewing reports of abnormal behavior and disturbing brain effects in more than 1,800 children who had taken Tamiflu. The symptoms included convulsions, delirium, and delusions. In Japan, five deaths were reported in children under 16 as a result of such neurological or psychiatric problems. Seven adult deaths have also been attributed to Tamiflu, due to its neuropsychiatric effect. According to a 2009 study, more than half of children taking Tamiflu experience side effects such as nausea and nightmares. Other more rare and bizarre side effects have also been reported, such as the case of a 19-year old British girl who developed toxic epidermal necrolysis and blindness after taking Tamiflu last year.” (

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Step-by-Step: Homemade Elderberry Syrup for Immune Support! | Real Food RN
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412 Replies to “Step-by-Step: Homemade Elderberry Syrup for Immune Support!”

      1. Is it possible to use fresh elderberries instead of dehydrated ones? If so I assume the recipe stays the same? Thanks

        1. I know people have done that, I am not sure if you would need to adjust the recipe. I think it should work the same with fresh or dried

      1. Make sure you use honey for anyone OVER 2 years old. There is so many good things in raw organic honey that can not be duplicated in any other type of sweetener. It is true that babies should never have the raw honey so make a baby version and a toddler to adult version for the best treatment for your family.

        1. actually it’s 12 mo, not 24 months. 🙂 They think it’s even before that that they can have honey, but they say 12 just to be safe.

        2. Raw honey is excellent but not for people who cannot tolerate any sweetener. Stevia is good as another suggested. To get that syrup consistency, use cinnamon stick. I break it up and boil it with other roots and it makes it like syrup. Hope that helps.

      2. I was wondering if you had to sweeten it at all? Is it more to make it tolerable going down, or does it need the Honey/Maple Syrup for medicinal properties?
        I have it on my stove simmering right now. If you could let me know asap about leaving the honey out, that would be great.

        Also, I bought the dried elderberries from Frontier. Did I need to re-hydrate them, or was it okay that I put them in the boiling water dried?
        Thank you!!!

        1. Hey Cathy,
          Nope, no need to rehydrate them. I add them in to the water dry and the boiling rehydrates them just fine. The honey does add some medicinal properties. Without some sweetener it is pretty strong flavored, and not too tasty.

          1. Thank you so much!! Looks like it turned out well!!
            I wouldn’t have had the confidence to make it without your prompting!!
            I did use some stevia, so it’s not like a syrup. I guess the honey is what make it more like a syrup, right?
            Or did I do something wrong?

            One other question… Can you use the elderberries more than one time? I thought I could go ahead and start another batch with the ones I just strained if you think they would still be strong enough.

            Again, THANK YOU!!

        2. I am a beekeeper and I know that honey has a lot of health benefits. I guess you could omit it but it would not provide as much of the health benefits.

    1. I certainly would. I made plain elderberry juice, left it out of the fridge, sent to work with my husband for a freind with a cough, and the jar exploded. My mother in law said she knew it would. Don’t know if it has a high fermentation in it or what, but my husband was not happy to be covered in elderberry juice.

      1. Did you have honey added in the elderberry syrup you made when it exploded? I’m getting ready to do a festival and wondering how best to transport all the syrup I make.

  1. Hi I just found your blog and love it. Can you use dry elderberries? I can’t find fresh ones. Can you recommend where to find fresh organic elderberries? I was going to order dry elderberries from Mountain Rose Herb Company. Thanks

    1. I use dry elderberries. I just soak them in distilled water to reconstitute the night before. I drain them, saving the liquid! The liquid that was not needed to puff up the berries again should be used as the water to boil them in – just measure it so the proportions are correct.

  2. Kate I read something about Sambucol being effective yet different than plain elderberry syrup. Do you know anything about it? What are your thoughts?

  3. Hi,
    I just made this with fresh black elder berries that I picked. I ended up with a greater volume of syrup because they were a lot juicier than I anticipated! I’m looking forward to giving this to my family, but do you know if it’s safe for me to give it to a 19 month old? She starts daycare on Tuesday and I’d love her to be able to take it.

    1. Did you use the same proportions of water to elderberries? I grow mine too. Did you boilthem formthe full 45 minutes?

  4. Hey there, since I became a mom 4 years ago, I have been digging around for information on raising a well family. I am excited I found this blog! My question is how different is store bought ground cloves and cinnamon (in the spice aisle) from what you have linked here? I recently started making my own shampoo and lotion, and as you know, starting out takes a lot of money so I can’t really afford to order a whole stock of supplies. *I understand that store bought clove powder won’t be organic, but will it have the same benefits?*

    1. Just do the best with what you can get. If organic is not affordable, the non-organic is still better that toxic chemicals and medications 🙂

  5. Hi! I just found your blog and I love it! Thank you! We were recently transferred to Canada for business so I’m having a hard time finding some of the ingredients (Canada’s Amazon website doesn’t have a lot of options). I did however find Elderberry Concentrate that I would like to use until I find dried elderberries. How would you suggest I use it for my kids (I have 15 month old twins and a 4 year old)? Should I still mix it will all the other ingredients in your recipe and boil? The instructions suggest to stir with warm or cold water before drinking. Any ideas?

    1. As I am not familiar with the product I can’t give advice on dosing. But you should just be able to follow the instructions on the box? I would definitely dilute it. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

  6. Great recipe. The only thing I would suggest is to use Ceylon Cinnamon sticks which has low Coumarin levels (compared to Cassia Cinnamon) which can damage your liver. OK, admittedly this is a small amount of Cinnamon, but if you are using good honey, I say use good Cinnamon.

    I generally prefer to use whole Cinnamon sticks, especially with Ceylon Cinnamon because the powder has usually lost its efficacy from being exposed to sunlight and being in storage for so long. And this is a great recipe where you can use the sticks.

  7. Hello there fellow RN, I am making this wonderful recipe and the amazing fragrance is filling my home. After such a long time of boiling how much of the beneficial ingredients are still present, do you know?

    1. Actually, cooking the Elderberries is what makes them beneficial. They can be toxic if eaten raw in large amounts. Adding the honey at the end makes sure that the honey remains nutritionally intact. It does smell very good when cooking 🙂

  8. thanks for a great post, I just followed your link to get the elderberries and honey, but have you ever made this with fresh ginger? I have some organic ginger sitting here, and am wondering about using that instead. If so, would I change the quantities? thanks again!

  9. Can you store the extra dry elderberries in the cabinet or do you need to freeze them to keep them fresh? (I’m making my first batch of syrup right now! Yay!)

    1. I cannot speak from experience, but I would think if you divide it into 48 doses (approximately how many gummies the recipe makes) and add that amount, substituting juice foe the liquid (if it’s less than 1/4 cup). Make sense. That’s how I would do it. But again, I have not tried it myself…

  10. Last time I made elderberry syrup I just used elderberries, water and honey. This recipe gave it a lot more flavor! The kids said it tasted much better! Thank you!

  11. I bought the dried elderberry powder from Mountain Rose Herbs instead of the whole berries. I tried making someone else’s recipe but didn’t reduce the syrup by half only simmering for 20 minutes. It didn’t turn into a syrup.

    I’m going to try your recipe. I’m hoping the powder versus whole doesn’t make much of a difference and I actually get a syrup this time. Oh and the kids did not like the ginger in the mix. I’ll try leaving it out this time.

  12. Hello… I made this tonight and think I did something wrong. It seems really liquidy, (I had it on low for an hour) also the taste is SUPER strong. I am not sure my son will take it. I put some organic stavia drops in to sweeten it up but should it be very liquidy or more syrupy?

  13. Is it possible to use instead of the dried elderberries, frozen ones? I haven’t been able to buy the one online but I know Trader Joe’s carries the frozen ones. Thanks 🙂

      1. I made this last night but wondering what the consistency is supposed to be? I simmered my elderberries for 1 hour. Can a nursing mother take this? Thanks for your help & the recipe!

  14. I plan on making this for my husband and me to take and I was wondering when my baby can start taking it. He’s 6.5 months. I know he can’t have the honey, but what if I left that out?

  15. I am making my first batch if this right now and I have a few questions. I read through most of the other posts to seek answers, but still have a few questions. Can this be given to a 23 month old or is it for 2 and up? Also, we do vaccinate on a delayed schedule, do you think that this would interfere too much with her immune system, as we have a big vaccination coming up next month.I myself have an autoimmune disease kind of like lupus and have read that it may not be a good idea for me to take this. Do you know anything about that? I am not sure if you have any of these answers, but I figured I would ask. Thanks for a great recipe,

    1. Well, I am not licensed to give medical advice. But, I can say that I gave it to my kids when they were <2 years old. I am not sure what to tell you about autoimmune disease and how this might affect it. You might need to google search it. Sorry I could not be of more help.

    2. Lupus patient and previous Nurse here. I can tell you for a fact, anything that boosts your immune system is suppose to be avoided as it can flare up your immune disease. However, I myself do take elderberry syrup. Anytime I am sick, the lupus does flare up way worse than when taking supplements. And seeing as I have a pre-schooler who enjoys sharing all His germs, my risk of an illness is HUGE! Now, that’s just the way MY BODY works, and I decided to take the risk. Just be cautious!

      1. I make granola bars and wondering if it’s safe or ok to use the elderberries AFTER they’ve been boiled for the syrup…to be used in granola bars? They bars are baked at 400 for 25 minutes so they’ll be cooked well!

    1. Home canning reduces nutrional content. I am GUESSING that it would not be as effective if home canned. Factories cann their foods differently than home canners so comerically canned foods retain more nutrients.

  16. I have been told by my landlord that I have an elderberry tree in the backyard. Could this be made with fresh elderberries?

  17. Hi, I’m making a batch of elderberry syrup for the first time. I’m buying the organic elderberries off of Amazon, but just curious if it’s best/optimal to use organic ingredients for the remainder of the recipe? For example, I already have ground cloves in my pantry, but they’re not organic. I didn’t know if I’m missing out on extra health benefits, etc., by using non-organic ingredients…don’t want to break the bank if I don’t have to! Thanks!

  18. I have a toddler who is picky about spices . Would this recipe be as effective if I left out the ginger and clove and only included the elderberries, water and honey?

  19. Hi Kate, I have a very picky toddler. Will this recipe be just as effective if I leave out the clover and ginger and make the recipe with only elderberries, cinnamon, water and honey? Thanks!

    1. Thats a good question. I have not used fresh berries. Since you cook it down anyway, I dont really think it matters. You can use a little less water with fresh, I am assuming.

  20. Can you please tell me where to find dark glass jars for storing this? Do those blue ones work as well as amber? Will it work to cover a canning jar in brown paper? Thank you.

    1. Message by joyinheart left her review September 14th, 2014, so she probably not on here now? However, for those who are looking for dark glass jars? This is a super idea? Purchase Hydrogen Peroxide 200mls bottles in dark brown bottles with good lids at Boots or any chemists. Not only can you use the hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash, when bottle is finished, wash out thoroughly and brilliant for storing anything you make! I put glass jars in hot water and scrub off the label and voila! You have brilliant dark brown thick glass classy little bottles! I use them for lots of things. Hope this is of use to anyone.

  21. Everything I’ve read says to store this syrup in a dark glass bottle away from light and in the refrigerator. I am not sure what brand of amber glass bottles to use. I wrote one company and they said theirs were not food grade. Can you suggest a brand for 8 oz. or 16 oz. storage? Will those light blue “Heritage” canning jars work? thank you.

  22. In 2009 my entire family came down with the swine flu at the same time. I gave my kids tariffs and I took elderberry syrup as well as 5 other herbs/vitamins/minerals. I felt much better within one week and my symptoms were completely gone in 2 weeks, they took about twice the time to recover.

  23. Out of a 1# bag of dried elderberries how many bottles were you able to get? Trying to figure the costs. Thank, Kate.

    1. Many many bottles, I store the berries in my freezer. I use old dressing bottles and I would say that one bag probably makes 10 bottles. Thats an estimate

  24. The standard dose….is that to be taken everyday almost like taking a vitamin and then when sick with the flu, take every three hours. Is that correct? I wasn’t sure if it’s to be taken everyday or just when sick.

  25. We have been using elderberry syrup for some time now. We were given a gallon jar of elderberry juice and I want to use it for the syrup recipe. Can you help me figure out how much juice I would use for this recipe? Thank You

    1. Did anyone ever figure out how much juice to use for this recipe? I make my own juice (do not use dried berries). I get about four cups of juice out of eight to ten gallons of snipped berries.

      I’m assuming if you get 16 ounces of juice out of the dried berry recipe, you would use 16 ounces per batch. Any opinions out there?

  26. As for juice, I think it would be a matter of someone measuring the amt of juice they end up with after boiling all the ingredients and before adding the honey.
    And Again – -Someone PLEASE help me on this!
    I keep reading about this syrup needing to be in dark bottles, but all the homemade recipes show clear glass. Does it REALLY matter? Colored bottles are SO hard to find — and MUST it be in glass and not plastic, like cleaned OJ bottles? thanks

  27. Sounds like a great recipe! I usually give my son fresh garlic, massive amounts of vitamin C & echinacea when he starts to sniffle. I may have to give this a try!

    1. You can lightly peel the ginger root and then use a micro-grater to grate the amount needed. WOW! I’ve got to get outta here; the almost invisible font is giving me a headache!
      PLEASE don’t strain our eyes with this faint font/printing. CONTRAST, MORE CONTRAST!

      1. I see that light or tiny font with a lot of sites, including even when trying to write a comment. It does give one a headache and is a bit exasperating. Page Owner/composer , PLEASE TAKE NOTE!
        It may look fancy on your end, bit it is DIFICULT to read!

  28. Making my second batch right now! My whole family has been a little under the weather since Thursday. I started giving them the syrup, and although they aren't 100%, the sickness has been so, so mild. When I get sick, I'm usually down for about 4-5 days. With this, I've only had a slight sore throat and mild stuffy nose. Love it!!

    Also, my 3 year old is super picky and hates everything. I put a TSP of this into some sparkling water, and she guzzles it down.

  29. I recently ordered some Elderberry Syrup from Mountain Rose Herbs and just found out that we are expecting. I have been feeling like a cold is coming on, would this be something you would take during pregnancy (I know you are not a DR and i'm not asking for medical advice, just wondering if you would personally do it). I've read some info that says its fine and others that say its not, just wondering what others have done. Thanks!

  30. Has anybody else noticed excessive tiredness and sleepiness after taking this? I gave some to my brother and he told me it made him very tired,, so I told him to take it at night. I did not realizes that this was ALSO the likely source of my overwhelming exhaustion during the daytime . Is this a normal reaction; is it possibly a sign of my body fighting off various low level bacteria and virus’s? Thanks for any information anyone can offer.

  31. When they had cooked long enough, I mashed the berries and then poured them into a strainer and mashed them some more to get all the juice as they drained. Is there something in the seeds that might cause the sleepiness?

      1. Sorry. Not familiar with that figure of speech – please explain what you mean. in simpler terms. Thank you.

  32. Hello! I’m breastfeeding and have a few questions. First will it harm or benefit my 4 month old breastfed baby? And if I just use the elderberry juice alone daily, how much and how many times a day? Thanks!

  33. I received my order of organic dried elderberries from sunburst superfoods and saw that there are small stems thoughout. I have read the stems are toxic and have never seen them in the others I have purchased at our local health food store. Any comments on this I would greatly appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

    1. I would be sure to complain to the company you bought them from, not only about the toxicity but that stems are used add weight. I would also go to Amazon and buy a one pound bag of the Frontier brand of these (Organic European Elderberries). I use them and they are FABULOUS!
      GREAT elderberry syrup from the recipe here!!! Thank you. (I add just a pinch of cloves and use a simple syrup base in place of the honey, which is often too rich for me. I cooked the syrup then divided the recipe in half, leaving half in the pan and strained the cooked elderberry mixture right into it. Voila!)

      1. Thank you for the replies. Ihave complained to company and still awaiting response. I usually get the elderberries from our healthfood store who gets them from frontier also and they are very clean but have been out of stock for three weeks! I am not using the sunburst elderberries but have been back to buying sambucol since the flu is announcing itself!! Are there any other companies to order from that are comparable to frontier? Thank you!

        1. HI Paula;
          It sounds like you are doing what I do. Usually when I cannot get Frontier, I revert back to buying Sambucol, however NOW Foods seems to have some good products too and they are available on AMZ. Maybe check them out.

          1. Well, I just ordered through amazon so we shall see! Florida Herb House. So many are out of stock! Hopefully they will be good quality and I can get back to making our own syrup because with 4 of us taking it ,the sambucol goes quick and it really adds up! Thanks again for the input! By the way this is also the recipe I have used since last year with great results. No dr. visits with any of us for a year now!

  34. I am also a breastfeeding momma. I have used my own homemade elderberry (with honey) and have had no issues. as a preventative, take half a tablespoon every night before bed. As a treatment after becoming ill, take a full tablespoon every 3-4 hours. Baby may receive trace amounts of elderberry through breastmilk, but it is totally fine! I also started giving my son some of my syrup around 11 months when he had a cough!

  35. Hi. I would like to know if the syrup can be used daily just to prevent sickness and also if you give to the kids the gummies (how many?) in case of cold or flu at the same time, I mean both syrup and gummies or just one?
    Many thanks!

    1. We all take a dose in the morning during cold and flu season. We take it every few hours when someone is sick. I give the kids about 5 gummies when they are sick. We don’t take the gummies every day, just the syrup

  36. Hi Kate, thank you for your reply in my prior post 😉
    I finally was able to make the syrup today but I didn’t realize that for the honey I needed pretty much the whole jar (11oz) I just had a half of it. Do you think it’s going to be effective for the daily doses??

  37. I’ve made several batches of this but just realized I never reconstitute the dried berries. Is this necessary? I did notice my liquid did not cut in half. I made a double batch so I thought maybe I should simmer for another hour but still barely. It is definitely simmering (can see the bubbles) and had the lid on.

  38. Can the syrup be frozen? It would be nice to be able to make a large batch. I was thinking maybe freezing it before adding the honey, then mixing in honey once I thaw some out.

  39. My son currently has the flu and my 9 month old was put on Tamiflu to prevent her from getting it. Is this safe for her to take?

    1. I started giving it to my kids once they were one year old because it has honey in it and that should not be given to kiddos under the age of one.

    2. Re: Elizabeths comments on Feb 6th 2015. So may not be on here now? Am shocked to read your 9 month old was put on Tamiflu to prevent her from getting it? Tamiflu has been found to be very dangerous! I believe 14 children have died due to this “medicine?” Also very serious side effects to two children? Check up THIS MORNING PROGRAMME! I believe it is on there? If not google something like: I heard Tamiflu has led to the deaths of children? Is this true?” Please check it all out. Medical drugs are lethal. I wouldn’t touch anything made by Pharmaceutical companies! Also for those looking for dark brown glass bottles I did put a long message on here dated 25th August, 2017? For any missing it try buying 3 PER CENT HYDROGEN PEROXIDE 200 MLS FROM BOOTS CHEMIST OR ONLINE! BOOTS IS THE CHEAPEST ABOUT £1.13 FOR A 200ML BOTTLE. You can use the hydrogen peroxide for mouth wash, then put bottle in hot water and soak, scrub off label, put your own label on, and these are lovely thick classy little bottles with quite a wide lid! Voila! I use these bottles for lots of home made recipes etc. Hope this is of help to anyone. Rosina Lock

  40. OK, what did I do wrong??? I ended up with a few teaspoons of "syrup" and that was only after adding more water a couple of times during the simmering, it just seemed to go who knows where?? And that is after a lot of pressing through the strainer. If I had added all the honey I would have had mostly purple honey.

  41. I read somewhere that you need to soak the berries before you make the syrup, but I don’t see that in your list of how to, so I was wondering if it’s really necessary & the last time I made elderberry syrup by another recipe a friend had given me, they were still crunchy after boiling them. Your recipe is definitely different, but I’m just curious if they are still crunchy, should I continue to boil?

    1. The honey has medicinal benefits, if you use raw honey. Otherwise, you could certainly sweeten with maple syrup too. It has some minerals in it.

  42. Will the recipe still work if I didn’t soak dried berries over night? That step wasn’t listed but I seen in comments.
    Thank You ,


  43. What do you think about using 1 drop of Clove essential oil instead of the clove powder? I use clove EO for it’s antiviral properties, but don’t have the powder on hand. Thank you, great resources here!

  44. I made this Elderberry syrup last night. It was so easy to make and tasted so much better than the expensive store bought syrup. I’m pregnant and having an allergy/cough issue. A couple spoons of this and I was able to go to sleep easily last night without one cough drop or Claritin (I’m an herbalist so I have to be feeling miserable to even buy Claritin and cough drops). My only suggestions to improve the recipe instruction is to first use distilled water if possible. Since it is devoid of minerals it is a “hungry” water and will absorb more of the nutrients from herbs. Second, I suggest bringing the berries to a boil at a medium heat so as not to destroy any of the berries beneficial/healing properties. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  45. I made a large batch and put it in the bottles and forgot to put them in fridge overnight. We had the temp in our house at 68 degrees. Will that be ok?

    1. I think it should be just fine. That is not hot by any means. Plus this stuff will kill any bacteria/virus that would try to grow in there.

  46. Does cooking the elderberries lose its benefits? Me and my fiance tried the Sambucol brand, but it is so expensive!

  47. I’ve made this before and we love it, but this time it is pretty spicy for some reason!! Anyone have any ideas on how to “fix” the spicy?? TIA!!

    1. I am not a fan of agave, its really high in fructose. I also have not used Elderberry syrup for my kids until they were one year old.

  48. Hi Kate! My kiddo and I just made this and sampled before it was cool, and it turned out tasting great! That being said, upon cleanup I discovered I used nutmeg instead of cinnamon. I know nutmeg in quantity can be dangerous. One tsp for that quantity…..thoughts?

  49. Hi Kate! I just made my very first batch of elderberry syrup! I have never worked with Raw Honey before. Since you said it loses some medicinal benefits if you heat it, I scooped it out hard and put it in there…but it was a bit hard to mix, so I threw it all in the vitamix. Is there a trick you use for mixing it all together? Thank you!

    1. I just stir and stir and stir, mashing it against the side of the bowl with a spatula. Can take some time to get it to dissolve sometimes, but its worth it!

      1. So, I figured I would give you an update now that my “syrup” has been in the fridge overnight. I would definitely not recommend the vitamix method. It mixed it all in very well, but it is not syrupy at all. It’s very, very runny. I will be adding some more honey to it and stirring it in!

  50. Given the danger of heating honey that I have recently read about, will this still be okay if I wait untiI it is cold and then stir in the honey? Another option I use is to make a simple sugar syrup and that seems to work great. I know – – ‘Oh, it’s sugar,’ but sugar is not the evil it is portrayed as when used in moderation.


    Can yo make your comments show up darker? They are very hard to read. And please add an edit option, as the mistakes always show up just as one hits the submit button.


  51. Making this as we speak! My boys aren’t keen on the usual elderberry syrup I make but with the added ingredients in this one how can they say no! Ha! Thank you!! 🙂

  52. I’ve tried to read through most of these posts and didn’t see where anyone asked about freezing the syrup. I had my first batch mold in the fridge after a few weeks, and wanted to split this batch I just made and put 1/2 into the fridge and the other 1/2 into the freezer. Will freezing change any of the properties of the elderberry syrup? Thanks for your input!! My husband and I haven’t been sick all winter and we are attributing it to this great recipe!!

  53. I’m not sure if I saw the question above so if I’m repeating something I’m sorry. but I made a jar of elderberry syrup this past fall (similar recipe) and it gelled after about a week. I have never had it do that before so I tossed it b/c I wasn’t sure why it did that. Any thoughts? Typically it should last longer than that I would think correct? Is there a way to make it and preserve it? I love using it but have not made it since b/c it was a waste of good ingredients and I’m afraid it will happen again. Anyone else experience that? Thanks so much!! Love all of your posts about this stuff. It’s great!

    1. mine just gelled after sitting on the counter for three days after making!!

      since i’ve already taken 12 oz of the batch, we’ll continue to use it. i did a tiny bit of googleing (that’s why i found this post) and found that there is a little pectin in elderberries but that post was suggesting you add something else with more pectin if you wanted to guarantee a gel

      fwiw, my recipe was basically just several cups of dried berries simmered and reduced. ended up with about two cups liquid to which i added a little less than two cups raw honey after the elder infusion had cooled to about 100 degrees

      thanks for sharing the joys of elderberries!

  54. Can this recipe be doubled or tripled? There are 8 of us in our family, and I think we would fly through a single recipe pretty quickly.

  55. Hi, I’ve made elderberry syrup with these ingredients but should it be pretty liquid like or should it actually turn out thicker like actual syrup? I would say mine is pretty thin and liquid like.

  56. Found this shared on FB and am totally going to make this. One question though, do you give this to your kids everyday as a preventive care or do you use the gummy recipe for that and the syrup for when they do get sick? I plan on making both recipes.

  57. Hi Kate,
    Love this recipe and definitely going to try. I assume it is safe for me to take as a pregnant lady since all the ingredients are natural but I just wanted tomato sure. 🙂

  58. I followed this recipe and ended up with about 24oz of liquid, and it’s not very syrupy. Did I do something wrong?

  59. I read through all the comments and didn’t see this question answered…can you use the dried berries more than once to make the syrup or is it a one shot deal? I used the freeze dried berries.

    1. I have not re-used the berries for a second batch, I want the syrup to remain potent and I feel like repeat uses of the berries will dimish its effects

  60. This may seem silly, but this is my first time making this, and I love the ingredients in the recipe! I’m almost done simmering, and I followed the instructions exactly (cover and simmer for 45 min). As I suspected, it did not reduce at all because it is covered. Is it supposed to reduce to be more potent? If so, should I let it simmer longer uncovered so it will reduce? Thank you!

  61. Do you give this daily throughout cold/flu season as a preventative tool or have on hand if someone actually gets sick?

  62. I have a 5 year old in preachool and I am also a nurse so we see our fair share of germs? I ordered the ingredients for this but was not sure if you used it daily to boost immunity or just if sickness hits!

  63. I am making this today, but I have organic ground ginger, not fresh ginger root. Should I alter the proportions of ginger at all? Thanks!

      1. Thank you for the comment. I used 2 T of the ground ginger….is that going to be a problem? Should I throw out what I made? Thank you for your advice!

  64. Thank you for the comment. I used 2 T of the ground ginger….is that going to be a problem? Should I throw out what I made? Thank you for your advice!

  65. I made a very strong tea using ground elderberry. I wanted to know, do you use a glass pan or double boiler? The reduction I made has almost a metaly taste. Is that normal? I just found your recipe today so I’ll add the other ingredients. I cannot find the elderberry syrup I bought a few years ago. It definitely improved my recovery from the flu.

  66. Should it be thick like a syrup ? I just made some yesterday and simmered it for an hr and its more like a juice than a syrup should I have cooked it longer? (It did reduce by half)

  67. Hi there– didn’t have time to read through all of it so excuse me if it’s it repeat. I’m ordering for the first time and its in ounces.
    1) Any idea how many ounces I would need for the 2/3 cup?
    2)Also, how long does this last for?
    3)And how much is yielded? Thank you

  68. A friend made this for me without the herbs. I read on one site that elderberry can help relieve the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia. I noticed an improvement in my symptoms in just days!! Its been a miracle!! Thank you so much! Now I am going to try making my own 🙂

  69. Hello, I made this two times and its brilliant, works like it says! Even helps on my allergies, maybe because of the quercetin.. Anyway, the last time I made it started getting fizzy/ fermented after a few weeks, just wondering if you know why? The last small unopened bottle fizzed over when i opened it, because i thought it was a good idea to shake it?So I ended up pouring the content in siliconshapes and made icecubes, worked for my three year old, she doesnt like the syrup…

  70. I have alot of elderberry trees in my yard I have made jelly every body loved it I have a lot this year and I have boiled and drained close to 2 gal. How long will it last in the fridge

  71. Thank you so much for this recipe, I’ll be trying it tomorrow as the elderberries are already ripe here in France. I’m planning to make a large batch, so I’ll leave out the honey and can the boiled syrup in mason jars. (Heat treated, to preserve them) When I open a jar, I’ll add the honey then keep the bottle in the freezer!

  72. Is this supposed to taste super spicy? It’s not sweet like the storebough syrup I’ve gotten. I kinda have to choke this down lol. Maybe it’s the cloves but it’s got a really strong aftertaste. Is this recipe supposed to have that bite to it? I had to simmer it longer than an hour because it didn’t reduce with the lid on. Would that make the taste stronger?

  73. I made some last night and I accidentally left it out of the refrigerator overnight without the honey in it. Do you think it’s ok to use?

      1. Wow, I am really impressed at how you have kept up with all the comments for the past five years since posting this! My friend made a batch and gave me a sealed jar. I didn’t realize it needed to be refrigerated, though, and I left it on the counter for four days unopened before putting it in the fridge. Any idea if it will still be okay to use? Or, what should I watch out for if it has gone bad in that time? Thanks for any insight you have. I’ve been searching for an answer to this question for days.

        1. You would know if it was bad, it would smell off. Give it a taste. If you used raw honey it will help preserve, but I refrigerate just in case

  74. All I️ have is elderberry concentrate from elderberries I️ picked back in the summer and juiced and froze. Any idea how much of the juice concentrate and water I️ would combine to make this?

  75. Thanks for this recipe! I finally decided to make my own this year because it’s way too expensive to buy. Used your recipe and it turned out awesome. .

  76. Hi! I made two batches last night letting both simmer with the lid on for at least an hour. It turned out runny like juice. Any suggestion?

  77. Hi Kate! So I made this and used the same measurement for dried ginger root as opposed to fresh. Is that okay or should I useless next time, since it is dried? Also, do you use cheesecloth stall or just a strainer? Thank you! Making this ALL the time now!

  78. Hi Kate! I’m using all dried spices, should I adjust the amount or is it the same fresh or dried what the recipe calls for. I think it was 2T of ginger..
    Also do you use cheesecloth or just a strainer? Thanks!

  79. At the school I studied to be an Herbalist, we were taught to bring herbs to a boil at a medium heat then simmer so as not to destroy the medicinal value of the herbs. Also distilled water is the best water to use because it absorbs more of the nutrients from the herbs. Love the recipe. Those are the only changes I make to it.

  80. Would this be safe to give my 13 month old? I want to make some for my family, but wasn’t sure if it was okay since she is still so little.

  81. The liquid did not reduce at all with a covered pot – maybe the instructions need to be updated to say partially covered? Is it still effective without it reducing? I don’t want to make it again right now.

  82. I will be making this for the first time and I did read through all of the comments too just to educate myself!! Dumb question-
    Can I use what I already have in my pantry for the spices : ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground cloves

    Or do I absolutely need to get the ginger root powder, cinnamon powder and clove powder to make this effective?

    Thank you so very much in advance and I’m loving your blog!!!

    1. You can use the ground spices too, there will just be more sediment in the finished batch. You can try to strain that off using cheese cloth

  83. I love this syrup! My adult daughter does not like the taste, and my granddaughters, 4 & 6 years old do not like the taste of gummies. What can make it taste better? I will try different raw organic honeys. Can I leave out the clove, or does it have medicinal value? I have been making this syrup since last year, & it really works. It is important to me for my daughter and especially granddaughters to take this to prevent flu! But they have to like the taste. My daughter has put it in tea- is it ok to dilute the syrup & put in tea, juice or water for children? Any other suggestions to play with taste? Thank you! I have read comments here about brown bottles. I have always put in glass mason jars in the fridge. Thank you Kate!

  84. I’m very excited to try this! I’ve read through all the comments. It’s 2:30am and I should be sleeping. Instead I’ve been reading everything I can about making this syrup and taking notes! Ha ha! Already ordered my dried berries from Frontier on Amazon! Thanks for posting how to make the gummies. I’ll wait on those for a bit till I figure out how to use Agar-Agar.

  85. If I add maple syrup instead of honey to sweeten, will it still last for a couple of months in the refrigerator or do I need to freeze it?

  86. @Kate I am not sure if you addressed this in the comments or not. I was in the process of making my Elderberry syrup today and I had to leave the house longer than expected. When I came back in the water had evaporated from the pot however it did not burn. Would it be possible to add more water and start again or do I need to toss out the berries and start completely over. Thank you so much for your time. Melissa

  87. I made my first batch and it was great! 🙂 Thank you!! I was wondering if you happen to know the nutritional information for this. Thanks so much!

  88. I apologize if this has been covered already in the comments – there are so many to read through 🙂 When I make this, sometimes I get about 16 oz, and sometimes it’s more like 20 oz. It would seem like the concentration of elderberry would be different between these 2 batches? Should I still give 1 tsp in each case, or a little more from the 20 oz. batch or a little less from the 16 oz. batch? And if I use less honey (e.g., 3/4 cup instead of 1 cup), would I give a little less than 1 tsp. in a dose (since, again, this would seem to be more concentrated with elderberry than if I had used the full amount of honey). Hope I’m making sense here. Maybe the bottom line question is whether it’s possible to overdose kids on elderberry? I just want to make sure that I’m dosing properly, given the variations in the total amount of syrup depending on how much water you cook off and/or how much honey you add. Thanks!

  89. Are your directions correct about simmering the elderberries with the lid on? I don’t see that it evaporates enough in 45 minutes to an hour.

  90. Hi, I followed your recipe all the way making gummy bears. I was hoping my kids 2,4 and 6 would like it. Especially for the older one who suffers really bad spring allergies. After one taste they said it’s “disgusting”, sorry to repeat their thoughts about it. Is there any other way to making this syrup which would be more appetizing or picky kids friendly? I used maple syrup to sweeten it. Can this used as juice, like syrup watered down put into sippy cup? Or how did they kids started to like it? It has a very strong taste.

    1. Sure, you can just use straight juice to make them sweeter. The elderberry has a stronger flavor, but it is sweet when you add honey.

  91. Thank you! I’m going to try this. Just had to shell out a mint for premade elderberry syrup at the store. Happy to say it helped knock out a cold in a couple days, but I’d love to have my own on hand.

  92. Thank you for a great recipe. A few tidbits or suggestions to help everyone’s life get easier and to improve the quality of bit of the elderberry sera up and it’s medicinal impact. First of all I would recommend that people buy fresh spices from an Indian import store . The cinnamon sticks and clothes there make quite a difference and are far more fresh and less processed then the stuff in the grocery store. In addition no one should have to do the boil and strain and mash process anymore there are fabulous things available to shorten our time cleanup and improve our product. Are you are use the MEHU – Liisa steam juicer which is a Scandinavian product worth every single penny. A friend of mine laughed at me when I talked about how much work making elderberry jelly was and turned me onto this incredible pot. Once I started using this I found that I could process much larger numbers of berries a very young types to create my juices and the juices come out more intense and concentrated so the process of making elderberry sera up for cold and flu is shortened the juice is more potent and therefore our requires much less time on the stove. I find that I prefer this juice with A little bit of pectin because it is already so concentrated you don’t want to boil it down too much so the process is much quicker. I also only use local sourced honey to keep everything local and organic. The steam juicer can be used and the juice concentrate to make wine ,jelly, or syrups. My husband had to actually add a little bit of water to his grape juice because the juicer brought it out so concentrated before he could make his wine. I will never go back to mashing berries again and boiling them. The juicer is made of surgical steel and so clean up is a breeze and I steam juice everything out on my grill burner just to keep it Cooler in the house during this hot time of year. Just trying to be helpful because once my friends told me about this and I began using it I couldn’t believe how easy making any kind of juice or jelly was. I do not receive any endorsements from these products

  93. Even after adding in the honey my batch is not thick like a syrup. It also has a “spicy” taste. I’ve decreased the clove to 1/8 teaspoon and it still doesn’t have that sweet/thick taste I’m looking for. Any suggestions?

    1. It will definitely have a spice flavor, the honey masks it. The syrup does not get as thick as traditional syrups from the stores. If you boil it way down and add more homey it will thicken

  94. Hello! I have a 5 month old, I was wondering If she could take this if I omit the honey? She can’t breastfeed so in trying to do SOMETHING to help her immune system this flu season. Thanks!

  95. Hi Kate, I just read through the many comments and there are lots of great questions! But I don’t see mine, so I will ask… Because we are reducing the liquid by half while we simmer the berries/spices for 45 minutes, is this considered a concentrate? I think friends have asked because they buy the concentrate in the store. I just tell them to dose as you have recommended, but I am just curious of the answer.

  96. I bought locally produced elderberry concentrate a few days ago, but it’s very bitter. Do you suppose I can follow the same recipe to make it more palatable? I’d appreciate your input. Thank you! Blessings!

  97. I made this syrup a few weeks ago, minus the cloves, and it came out very good. This past week I was getting my usual horrible sinus infection, so at the first sign of it, I took 4-5 Tbls over the course of the day for 3 days. I felt lousy for 3 days, but never got my usual sickness of 2 weeks (then needing to get antibiotics). I think this recipe is going to save me from so much sickness. Thank you so much!!!

  98. What is the weight of dried elderberries needed for this recipe. I don’t necessarily want to purchase a whole pound for one recipe if that is too much. Thanks.

  99. Hi, I have been making Elderberry Syrup for a while now. I have noticed it is getting a bit fizzy in the fridge. Is it still ok to use. I have given to friends and family also. They have all said theirs has been fizzy too. I just want to make sure this is still safe for everyone and why it would be doing this.

    1. This sounds like your elderberry syrup is starting to turn into wine. I’m sure it is fine in small doses and might even have additional health benefits. We are beekeepers and occasionally we have a batch of honey that has moisture in it and it will ferment. Fermented honey has additional health benefits, has a hint of a wine taste and it is on the menu in some five-star restaurants in Charleston.

  100. Just received my dried elderberries in the mail today and am looking forward to following your recipe. I did have a question though. Your recipe reads that refrigerated Elderberry syrup will last for “months” in the fridge. I have read other recipes that state it will last “two to three weeks.” That, to me, is a significant difference in time. Can it truly last for months?

    1. We go through it pretty fast, but I also make a double batch when I make it, which lasts about a month. I have had previous batches in there for up to about two months. Might be the difference between using raw honey, or not using raw honey. Raw honey acts as a preservative. Perhaps the other recipes didn’t use raw

  101. I have been making and using elderberry syrup for nearly 5 years. I buy theme by Th e pound. I keep several pounds on hand as thi s year they were scarce. I drove several hours just to get enough for 2 batches. I won’t get caught like tha t again. 2 friends 1 was a 73 elder, Th e other a 48 year old. Both were ver y sick. I made a batch for early h of theme and each one said it was Th e only thin g that helped them. I have had some get fizzy on me. I used it and it still worked. I had made a double batch and didn’t use it fast enough.

  102. I simmered mine a little too long. Added filtered water as I mashed it through the strainer. Will this cause it to “go bad” sooner since the added water wasn’t boiled?

  103. I would like to make some elderberry Syrup. I often buy quantum brand which is a pleasant flavor. Ingredients include peppermint, myrrh,eucalyptus, thyme oils. I would like to replicate this. Do you have any recommendations?

  104. I simmered my batch for 3 hours with the lid cracked open and while my liquid did reduce, it is not syrupy at all. Is this a problem?


  105. Hi Kate:

    Can I make this with Agave Nectar, rather than honey. I am not allergic to honey, but I try not to use honey, as a vegan. If you say that honey is a vital component of the Elderberry Syrup, I will use it, since I would like to make the Syrup, but my preference would be to substitute another sweetener for the honey, understanding that I will lose the benefits of the raw honey.



  106. I would like to make this using my frozen elderberries.Will have to adjust measurement of water,as there is quite a bit juice when the berries thaw….perhaps ot use any water at all? Any suggestions?

  107. I have read online that elderberries if not made properly can cause nausea and vomiting. I just purchased 2/3 cup from our local health food store and now I’m a little worried to make it.

    1. you would have to eat a LOT of raw elderberries to have nausea/vomiting. I’ve been processing elderberries for many years. A few stems in there isn’t the end of the world either, as someone asked way up at the top. Picking them is easy, processing takes a lot of time to pick those tiny berries off. They grow wild all over, especially in areas along wet areas, ditches that retain some water into the summer. You identify them in the late spring when they blossom, then go pick them in late Aug here in Wisconsin. They fall off rapidly after ripening, so the picking window is short. Never use red, underipe berries as they can upset your stomach. Squeeze the dark purple/blackish berries and the juice should run dark, not clear when ripe. You can google pictures to identify the flowers and berries and ways to de-stem them. I make syrup and freeze in very small glass containers. I take out the small container and use up in a day or two. I used to make elderberry wine and it was excellent as well… but a LOT of work!

  108. I make this for 2 households – one including a 6-yr-old – and I’ve been making it frequently from your recipe for a few years. (THANKS!) I’m always trying to smush out all liquid before tossing the cooked berries and it finally dawned in my little pea brain to line the strainer with cheesecloth. I let it drain for a while and then pick up the corners of the cheesecloth and squeeze nearly till it screams for mercy 🙂 Lets me toss only the VERY dry berries and the cheesecloth without losing any of this liquid gold.

  109. Is this safe for all ages of kids? Excluding infants because of the honey, of course. I have a 2 year old and 3 year old and curious if they can have this as well since the store bought syrups suggest 6 years and older.

  110. Is it safe to leave the berries in the syrup for 8 hours in refrigerator and strain and sweeten later?
    This site is a blessing for my family.
    Thank You

  111. I just made this tonight but it came out pretty spicy and a little thin compared to the store bought that I have used in the past. Is that normal?

  112. Thank you for this recipe and this site. I made this last year w/my first yield of homegrown elderberries and my two terns are asking for it again! They love it on pancakes AND it is delicious stirred into a glass of skim milk! SO yummy!

  113. Hi I just made a double batch. Silly thing is when I finished putting ingredients in I didn’t remember if I doubled the amount of elderberries, so as stumped as I was I put in another 2/3 cup Incase, So now I’m wondering if the right amount was in or it’s too much. Either way if it is extra elderberries will the batch of syrup completely taste wrong or much different? Did I ruin this batch ?

  114. If the recipe comes spicy (so spicy I call it poison syrup) what would you recommend? Did I possibly not reduce it enough?

  115. I’m making my second batch right now, and I doubled it to share with family who has expressed an interest in trying it. My husband and I have taken the syrup every day for about a month and have stayed well after getting every single bug the grandkids had (or just being out in public). We’re believers!

  116. How long does this syrup keep. You had mentioned several months, but what is several months to you, 3 or 6 or more or less? I would like to label my bottle once it’s made.

  117. Which elderberries do you recommend getting from amazon? There are so many to choose from. I don’t want to waste money and get the wrong ones or ones that aren’t good. Thank you

  118. Can you continue taking this syrup for a long period of time?? I usually take it during the flu season But now since the corona I have continued to take it

  119. Hi Kate, I have steam juiced by wild Elderberries here in Oregon. If making your recipe. Would I use 2/3 of a cup of elderberry juice in place of 2/3 cup of elderberries? What do think?
    Thank you!!!

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