I don’t know how many of you guys use elderberry syrup as a number one go to in your home, but for us, it’s saved us from many colds &flus in the past. Ideally, it’s great to take every day as a preventive measure, but unfortunately, it’s pretty pricey. Really pricey when you calculate bottle x the amount inside x the amount you (and your family) need to take. For us, there’s no way we could afford to buy it and take it daily. We usually try to buy it when we feel something creeping on…. which is funny since we’re a bit sick right now… well, sick enough to keep us home for one day this week anyway 😉 But everytime I see it in the store, I know it’s just not in our budget… and for whatever reason, I never thought, questioned, or knew, that you could make your own at home for a fraction of the cost. We used up our last of our “don’t get sick” elderberry syrup when M got a traveling cold in California, but other than that trip, we haven’t been sick at all since Marlowe has been out of daycare (holy crap, was she sick at least once a month. blegh). And I’m almost 100% certain we wouldn’t have even had one day home this week, if we had elderberry around. So I think we’re doing something right around here 🙂 And now that I know I can make it home… you better believe I already have a bag of elderberries coming this way to make large batches of it for our home.

This post… well, if you can’t tell, I’ve excited for it. I’ve come to realize over the past few years, that maybe I am a bit more crunchy than I thought I was… but I mean, I love the idea of feeling better, living naturally, and saving money at the same time… those things seem to go hand in hand a lot (maybe not all, but a lot) of the time. Breast feeding, cloth diapering, cloth napkins, brewing your own drinks, baking your own bread, making your own deodorant and lotions… and now, making your own elderberry syrup? It’s all been accidentally cheaper (and awesome)!

This diy/recipe has been brought here by my sweet, amazing, and knowledgeable friend, Shervin. She’ll be popping in from time to time to help out with natural living posts. She’s a mama bear, natural living guru badass wizard 😉 I hope you find this recipe benefits you…

I’ve been using elderberry syrup as a preventive measure to keep my family healthy for many years now. During cold and flu season I give a teaspoon of the syrup to my kids every day all throughout winter. When they get sick, I give the same dose, twice a day to help speed up recovery time. Elderberry (sambucas nigra) contains high levels of vitamins A and C and helps boost the immune system. Elderberry also reduces the length and severity of the flu and colds. You can find elderberry syrup at health food stores or online for $14-30 a bottle. This recipe makes around 16 ounces for under $10 and is very simple. 

Homemade Elderberry Syrup


  • 2/3 cup black elderberries
  • 3.5 cups of filtered water
  • 2 T fresh or dried ginger root
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp cloves or clove powder (optional)
  • 1 cup raw honey (must be raw for the best benefits. I get mine from our farmer’s market and make sure it’s made from local bees to also help with seasonal allergies) 

  • How to:
    -Pour water into medium saucepan and add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and cloves (do not add honey!)
    -Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour until the liquid has reduced by almost half. Remove from heat and let it cool enough to be handled. Pour through a strainer or cheese cloth into a glass bowl.
    -Discard the elderberries and let the liquid cool to lukewarm. When it is no longer hot, add 1 cup of honey and stir well.
    -When honey is well mixed into the elderberry mixture, pour the syrup into a mason jar or 16 ounce glass bottle of some kind.

    That’s it! You just made homemade elderberry syrup, at a fraction of the cost of store bought! Store syrup in fridge and take daily.

    Standard dose is 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp for kids and 1/2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp for adults. If the flu or a cold does strike, take the normal dose 2x a day instead of once a day until symptoms disappear. 

    *you can buy elderberries online: here


    1. I just made a batch and in looking back at the recipe, realized I didn't cover while simmering! Should I throw this batch out?

    2. Excited to finally make this today! I have a question though: does this need to be stored in the refrigerator once it's made?

    3. Excited to make this today! I have a question though: does this need to be stored in the refrigerator?

    4. making this tomorrow! woke up this morning and found myself with a sore throat and a cold. i ordered elderberries a few weeks ago. time to get cookin'.

    5. Thanks so much for sharing this! I definitely want to make some for my family- we've gotten sick much more often since my older son started preschool.

    6. Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm definitely planning to make some for my family- we've gotten sick so much more often since my older son started preschool.

    7. What would happen if you boil it down to half instead of simmer it down (which is what I accidentally did)?

    8. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I have been looking for one like this. Thinking of growing elderberries. Anyone have experience?

      • I think it would be amazing. I def. plan on looking into it next time I'm a fruit and tree sale/expo.

    9. Can I substitute the honey with something else for my 7 month old who can't gave honey yet? Maybe agave nectar?

      • Shervin say's no, but you bring up a good point, because I know not everyone is honey friendly. (We ourselves just started eating honey not too long ago). I feel like you COULD use another sweetener, though I'm not sure if the elderberry would last as long without honey. Also, as a general rule, agave, like sugar is only good in moderation…. it's not as good for you as it seems like it would be. Which is unfortunate, because it is pretty yummy :/

    10. Uhm from where can I get elderberries? Can I use frozen ones? Thank you so much for this post! 🙂

      • There's a link! Some local health food stores might carry them. I've never seen em just hanging around. There's a few links in the post, but you can just search and order online, that would probably be easiest 🙂