DIY Elderberry Syrup Recipe (One of the Best Natural Cold + Flu Remedies)

Emmy Schneider-Green
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Elderberries have been hailed as a natural immunity-booster for centuries. And they are enjoying a comeback as more people want super effective immunity-boosters and natural flu remedies.

The immunity-boosting properties of elderberries and elderberry syrup are impressive (read on for more on this) and have withstood the tests of time.

While modern medicine and drugstore options can be great, elderberry as a cold and flu remedy is a completely natural one. And it’s one of the best natural flu remedies out there!

Elderberry may not only help you avoid sickness in the first place, but could also help you bounce back quicker next time you’re feeling under the weather.

Natural Flu Remedies 101: Use Elderberries to Boost Your Immunity

There are plenty of tried and true ways to lessen your chances of coming down with something. Of course there are basics you already know like washing your hands, avoiding those who are sick, eating right, exercising, and more.

But, if you need something to give yourself an extra immunity boost when you’re feeling meh, there might be an option you haven’t tried yet: elderberry!

Here Are 6 Simple, Science-Backed Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System

How Do Elderberries Work to Fight the Flu?

While they may be new to you, humans have been relying on elderberries and elderberry syrup since as far back as ancient Egypt, if not longer. The ancient Greeks also sang the praises of elderberries. Hippocrates specifically referred to the plant as his “medicine chest” since it came in handy for healing so many ailments.

Elderberries grow throughout Europe, Asia, and North America, and are generally used in their dried form. This dried form is what you’ll need to whip up a DIY batch of the syrup. (You can pick this up at health food stores like Whole Foods, or order it on Amazon.)

Basically, elderberries are one of Mother Nature’s best and most potent remedies.

It’s thanks to their super-high levels of Vitamin C, but also beta-carotene, flavonoids, antioxidants, Vitamins A and B, and anti-viral properties that elderberries pack such a punch.

They can be used to alleviate and prevent illnesses from the common cold to stomach aches to sinus congestion. They also stimulate circulation, lower cholesterol, and promote healthy bowel movements. And, probably, most famously, they are used as natural flu remedies.

Basically, elderberries are one of Mother Nature’s best and most potent remedies.

Natural Flu Remedies Versus Modern Science

How does it stack up to modern medicine? We’ve all tried a good-sounding natural flu remedy that doesn’t actually seem to do much. But, fortunately, this isn’t the case here.

Even if a sore throat or body chills have already reared their ugly heads, studies have shown that dosing up on elderberry syrup can shorten the duration and intensity of a sickness such as a cold or the flu.

As opposed to suffering through four to six days (or even longer), it will have you feeling better in less time (yes please!).

Results from a clinical trial showed that 20% of study subjects who had received elderberry syrup after coming down with an infection felt significant improvements within a day.

Also, 70% felt improved within two days, and 90% said they were completely better within three. In contrast, the study participants who received no natural flu remedies took six days to heal.

Want to really up your defenses against germs this season? These 7 Foods Naturally Boost Your Immunity – Are You Eating Them Enough?

Use This Elderberry Syrup Recipe to Make Your Own at Home!

Though elderberries can be made into jam, jellies, lozenges, or tinctures, the syrup form is the most popular for general immunity-boosting purposes. The berries themselves can have a super tart taste when fresh so, as stated, you’ll want to grab the dried variety to whip up a super-simple batch of DIY syrup.

The homemade version will save you a pretty penny compared to ordering already-made syrup online or at a health food store. Plus, you can modify the flavor to your liking, with optional spices and add-ins.

Here’s a simple recipe to get you going!


  • ¾ cup dried elderberries
  • 3 cups water
  • Cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon (optional)
  • Fresh or ground ginger (optional)
  • 4 whole cloves (optional)
  • 1 cup raw and unfiltered honey or coconut sugar/maple syrup, if you don’t eat honey



Bring the water, elderberries, ginger, and other spices (if using) to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan.

Once boiling, turn to low and let simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the liquid has been reduced by half. At this point, transfer the cooked berries and water to a bowl, and then pour through a mesh strainer to remove the berry skins.

To make sure you’ve gotten all the goodness, mash the berries with the back of a wooden spoon to release the rest of the liquid. Toss the elderberries or compost, and let the liquid cool to room temperature.

Add your sweetener, stir well, store in a clean mason jar, and enjoy daily.

You can take one teaspoon daily or if you feel a cold coming on. If you’ve already come down with something, you can take several teaspoons throughout the day.

This will keep in the fridge for at least two weeks, if you haven’t enjoyed it all by then.

The Takeaway on Elderberry Syrup, One of the Best Natural Flu Remedies

There’s no sweeter way to treat the oncoming cold and flu season than with a teaspoon of this delicious syrup.

Not into it plain? Drizzle elderberry syrup on top of oatmeal or pancakes or in your smoothie bowl, and stay healthy and well the natural way.

Cheers to a healthy and delicious winter season!

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

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Emmy Schneider-Green

Emmy is a passionate vegan foodie with a wanderlust spirit. When she’s not working her digital marketing day job or writing, she's probably spending time with her two calico cats, lifting weights, listening to a true crime podcast, or daydreaming (sun & moon Pisces here!)

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