Boost Your Immunity with Herbal Remedies: Create Your Own Elderberry Syrup at Home

Historical usage of elderberry syrup

Elderberry syrup has been used for centuries to boost immunity and fight off infections. It was first documented in the 1st century AD by the Greek physician Dioscorides, who recommended it for treating a variety of ailments, including colds, flu, and diarrhea.

In the Middle Ages, elderberry syrup was a popular remedy for the plague. It was also used to treat other diseases such as smallpox, dysentery, and pneumonia.

Elderberry syrup continued to be used throughout the centuries, and it was especially popular during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1919.

How people use elderberry syrup today to help with immunity

Today, elderberry syrup is still widely used to boost immunity and fight off infections. It is also used to treat a variety of other conditions, including cold and flu symptoms, sinus infections, and constipation.

Elderberry syrup is thought to work by boosting the production of white blood cells, which are the body’s first line of defense against infection. Elderberry syrup also contains antioxidants, which can help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

Some studies have shown that elderberry syrup can help to shorten the duration and reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms.For example, a study published in the journal Virology Journal in 2004 found that elderberry syrup reduced the duration of the flu virus by about 4 days.

Another study, published in the journal Phytotherapy Research in 2016, found that elderberry syrup reduced the severity of cold and flu symptoms in air travelers.

How to use Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup can be taken on a daily basis to help boost immunity, or it can be taken at the first sign of a cold or flu to help fight off the infection.

The typical dosage for adults is 1 tablespoon of elderberry syrup 3-4 times per day. For children ages 1-12, the dosage is 1/2 teaspoon 3 times per day.

Elderberry syrup can be taken on its own, or it can be added to juice, tea, or yogurt. It can also be used in cooking recipes.

How to Make Elderberry Syrup at Home

  • 3⁄4 cup fresh or 1⁄2 cup dried elder (Sambucus canadensis or S. nigra) berry (2oz)
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome, chopped
  • 3 whole cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
  • 3 sticks cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups raw honey
Kitchen Tools
  • Stock pot with lid
  • Metal strainer and/or cheesecloth
  • Quart jar with lid (or any combination of clean jars with lids)
  1. In a large, covered stock pot, bring the water, berries, fresh ginger root, cloves, and cinnamon sticks to a boil.

  2. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and 2 cups remains in the pot.

  3. Allow the mixture to cool just enough to handle.

  4. Strain the herbs and return the liquid to the pot.

  5. Add honey and stir to dissolve.

  6. Pour the syrup into glass jars, label, date, and refrigerate.

Suggested Use:

Suggested usage for adults is 1 tablespoon up to 3x/day and for children is 1 teaspoon up to 3x/day.

Shelf life:

Refrigerate and use within 1-2 months.

Safety and side effects of Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry syrup is generally safe for most people. However, it is important to note that elderberries are poisonous when raw. Therefore, elderberry syrup should only be made with cooked elderberries.

Elderberry syrup may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and diuretics. It is important to talk to your doctor before taking elderberry syrup if you are taking any medications.

In Conclusion

Elderberry syrup is a safe and effective herbal remedy that can help to boost immunity and fight off infections. It is a popular choice for people who are looking for a natural way to stay healthy. 

Elderberries can also help:

 —> Reduce inflammation: Elderberry syrup contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can be beneficial for a variety of conditions, including arthritis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease.
—> Improve heart health: Elderberry syrup contains antioxidants that can help to protect your heart from damage. It may also help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
—> Promote digestive health: Elderberry syrup can help to improve digestion and relieve constipation. It may also help to reduce the risk of stomach ulcers.

Elderberry syrup is a safe and well-tolerated herbal remedy for most people. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking elderberry syrup if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking any medications. We hope that this information on elderberries and the recipe for elderberry syrup can help you and your family stay healthy during the cold and flu season!

  • Antiviral Activity of the Sambucus Nigra Extracts Against Influenza Virus in Vitro – Virological Journal (2004)
  • The Effect of Elderberry Extract on the Duration and Severity of Cold and Flu Symptoms in Air Travelers: A Randomized, Controlled Trial – Phytotherapy Research (2016)