Natural recipes: Elderberry honey syrup


Every family should keep a jar of elderberry honey syrup in their refrigerator. This simple, natural elixir is fabulous at preventing and treating illnesses and it couldn’t be easier to make or more natural.

What’s so great about elderberry syrup?

Elderberry syrup is one of the best things on the planet to fight illness. It protects against multiple strains of flu and dramatically shortens flu durations for those who take it after they get sick, plus it increases the production of infection-fighting cytokines as much as tenfold. It fights viral and bacterial infections, strengthens the immune system and it even helps protect the respiratory system.

Studies have shown elderberry syrup is more effective than Tamiflu at fighting the flu. One study found that 90% of flu victims who took elderberry extract had complete cure by day two, whereas placebo group symptoms lasted six days. Elderberries have been shown to be effective against ten known strains of influenza, including the type that includes H1N1.

How to make simple elderberry syrupThis syrup (adapted from a recipe in Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health) not only gives you the benefits of elderberries, but it also is made with honey, which has its own health benefits. Using raw local honey is preferable but not necessary.


  • 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries (*stems removed)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup raw local honey


  1. Bring the berries and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  2. Mash the berries, strain and add the honey to the liquid. Mix well. Discard or compost the mashed berries.
  3. Pour the elderberry syrup into a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator. Keeps two to three months.

*Note: Elderberry stems are poisonous in large quantities. Sift through your berries and discard any long stems before cooking.


A tablespoon per day will keep your immune system strong. Take 2 to 3 tablespoons per day to fight flu or other sickness. For children, a teaspoon a day will keep their immune systems strong and this can be increased to 3 teaspoons a day during times of illness.

Keep in mind that elderberry syrup is made purely of berries and honey, so you do not have to be as careful as you would with conventional medicines. Elderberries are used worldwide in jellies, wines, pies and other foods. Too much elderberry syrup is likely to result in the same sort of result as too much blueberry syrup — a stomach ache.

Elderberry extracts are considered safe for children, pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems. However, this recipe contains honey, which should not be given to children under one year old.

You can substitute maple syrup (which also has its own health benefits) for a delicious alternative.


Elderberries: The Beginner's Guide to Foraging, Preserving and Using Elderberries for Health Remedies, Recipes, Drinks and MoreThis article originally appeared on  Since it was written many years ago, I have gone on to publish a book on foraging elderberries that’s filled with over 90 recipes for health remedies, desserts, drinks and more.  You can find out more about the book here.  ~Alicia

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Post Author: Alicia Bayer

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