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Powerful Elderberry Syrup

During the winter season when colds, respiratory tract infections, and influenza seem to strike many families, a simple homemade syrup can give you a healthy edge. For centuries Black Elderberries have been recognized for supporting the immune system.

This syrup combines two powerful infection fighters, raw honey and elderberry extract.

Elderberry was a favorite healing herb used by Hippocrates and he called the elder tree his “medicine chest.”

Organic Elderberries

Elderberries are marvelous for providing significant antioxidant protection and boosting the immune system.  Articles and studies published in scientific literature highlight many benefits we can enjoy from consuming elderberries or elderberry extract[1] [2]:

  • antioxidant protection
  • anti-inflammatory benefits
  • stimulate the immune system

Raw honey

Raw honey is used in preparing elderberry syrup not only to improve flavor but to confer many health benefits [3] [4].

Raw honey is:

  • a natural immune booster
  • a natural anti-inflammatory agent
  • a natural antimicrobial agent

Organic herbs and spices

Fresh ginger, cinnamon and cloves are used to make elderberry syrup.

Traditionally, herbs and spices have been used for ages because of their antimicrobial properties. Scientific studies back the use of ginger, cinnamon and cloves as safe antimicrobial agents. [5]


How to Make Elderberry Syrup


Optional: Add in powerful essential oils to boost the performance of your elderberry syrup. Do not heat essential oils or honey — add them both at the end.


Use only Young Living Vitality Essential Oils, safe for dietary consumption.


  1. In a saucepan, add water and dried elderberries. Studies show that cooking herbs can reduce their potency, so I add the ginger, cinnamon and cloves at the end of the cooking time. Additionally, the berries are mashed and strained at the end, so if you have added the herbs early on in the cooking time, you will lose some in the straining.
  2. Slowly bring water and elderberries to a gentle boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low for 45 to 60 minutes, or until the volume has reduced approximately 50%.
  3. Using a spoon, mash the berries against the side of the pan to release as much juice as possible.
  4. Strain out the berries, again mashing them in the strainer with the back of a wooden spoon to get as much  juice as possible.
  5. Cool completely.
  6. Stir in raw honey, fresh ginger, cinnamon and cloves and, if you choose, add in essential oils. An immersion blender can be used to incorporate the honey into the cooled berry mixture.
  7. Pour into Glass Bottles using a funnel.
  8. Label with instructions and date of preparation.
  9. Store in the refrigerator up to 4-6 months.

Elderberry Syrup Dosage

When the flu or illness strikes, take 1 dose (below) of elderberry syrup 4 times a day. 

A 2004 study of 60 adults showed that elderberry syrup helped relieve symptoms of influenza A and B an average of 4 days earlier when compared with placebo. [6]

Preventive and to support the immune system:

  • Adults Take 1 tsp – 1 Tbs per day
  • Kids over age 1: 1/2 – 1 tsp per day

During Illness

  • Take the recommended dose every 2 to 4 hours.

Yes, You can buy Black Elderberry Syrup

I like the Gaia brand. It includes Acerola Cherry fruit extract, a delicious and rich source of naturally occurring Vitamin C.

My Natural Medicine Chest

Elderberry Syrup needs to be in your natural medicine chest but don’t stop there with your preparations.

I use a variety of natural remedies to combat the nasties. I no longer need to use toxic over-the-counter medication.

Here’s a partial list of what is in my natural medicine to raise our wellness line, especially during winter. Please read this post for more ideas, How to Stay Healthy This Fall and Winter.

  • Zinc (We take LDA Trace Minerals so that all minerals are properly balanced)
  • Super C Chewable Tablet with Orange essential oil, camu camu, acerola, cherry, and rose hips fruit powder.
  • Sovereign Silver – a dropperful under the tongue
  • Thieves Essential Oil – rub on the bottoms of the feet, or add to an empty veggie capsule and swallow
  • Eucalyptus globulus essential oil – great for respiratory support. Rub on the bottoms of the feet, or diffuse/inhale.
  • Raw garlic in a spoonful of raw honey or make this Simple Syrup recipe (why not crush a clove and add it to your spoonful of Elderberry Syrup)


[1] Özgen, Mustafa et al. “Total Phenolic, Anthocyanin Contents and Antioxidant Capacity of Selected Elderberry (Sambucus Canadensis L.) Accessions.” Pharmacognosy Magazine 6.23 (2010): 198–203. PMC. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

[2] Krawitz, Christian et al. “Inhibitory Activity of a Standardized Elderberry Liquid Extract Against Clinically-Relevant Human Respiratory Bacterial Pathogens and Influenza A and B Viruses.” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 11 (2011): 16. PMC. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

[3] Ajibola, Abdulwahid, Joseph P Chamunorwa, and Kennedy H Erlwanger. “Nutraceutical Values of Natural Honey and Its Contribution to Human Health and Wealth.” Nutrition & Metabolism 9 (2012): 61. PMC. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

[4] Othman, Nor Hayati. “Honey and Cancer: Sustainable Inverse Relationship Particularly for Developing Nations—A Review.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM 2012 (2012): 410406. PMC. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.

[5] Akullo JO, Kiage B, Nakimbugwe D, Kinyuru J. Effect of aqueous and organic solvent extraction on in-vitro antimicrobial activity of two varieties of fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) and garlic (Allium sativum). Heliyon. 2022 Aug 28;8(9):e10457. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2022.e10457. PMID: 36091965; PMCID: PMC9450146.

[6] Zakay-Rones, Z, et al. “Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Oral Elderberry Extract in the Treatment of Influenza A and B Virus Infections.” The Journal of International Medical Research, (2004) 32: 132 – 140.

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