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4.75 from 16 votes

Homemade Elderberry Syrup (for colds, coughs and flu)

Elderberry syrup has been used for centuries to effectively treat and prevent colds, coughs and mild cases of the flu.  It's easy to make and tastes delicious!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time13 mins
Servings: 48 tablespoons
Calories: 25kcal
Author: Kimberly Killebrew


  • 1 cup quality dried elderberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup raw honey, local if possible (use raw: non-raw is simply sugar with no health benefits) (raw buckwheat honey has the highest levels of antioxidants)


  • Place all of the ingredients, except for the honey, in a small saucepan. Bring it to a boil then reduce the heat to a low simmer and simmer uncovered for approx. 30 minutes or until the liquid is reduced by roughly half (though that much isn't necessary).  Use a fork or potato masher to mash the berries.
  • Let the mixture steep for a few minutes, the strain the liquid through a fine sieve or cheesecloth and mash or squeeze the solids to release as much liquid as possible.  You can also use a food mill. Let the liquid cool until room temperature (no hotter than lukewarm) and then stir in the honey.  Makes about 3 cups. 
  • Store in the refrigerator.  Will keep for at least 2 weeks. 
  • There is no standard dose for elderberry syrup.  Adults trying to prevent a cold or flu can take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day and increase it to 2 tablespoons 3-4 times a day to treat a cold or flu until the symptoms disappear.  Decrease the dose for children.  If giving to children it's always best to consult your pediatrician.
    IMPORTANT NOTE:  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not giving raw honey to infants younger than 12 months. 
Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g