DIY Elderberry Syrup Recipe (a natural remedy to fight the cold and flu virus)

November 03, 2018 5 min read

DIY Elderberry Syrup Recipe Cold and Flu Remedy The Yellow Bird Blog

I'm sure you've heard about it. The magic elixir that the flu just can't handle! Maybe you've seen a lot of recipes, or maybe you've even bought some at the store. Well, I'm here to share with you our recipe that we have been using for the last 3 years. 

Confession: I was pretty hesitant to make my own Elderberry Syrup at first (it sounded like a lot of work...) but once I did it once I realized it is SO EASY!!! Literally throw everything is a pot to simmer, let cool and pour thru a strainer, add honey-- DONE!!!! And man, can you pack in the goods ingredient wise (also, it is SO MUCH CHEAPER to make your own than buy pre-made!) My kids LOVE to help me make it... and it's so easy and quick, it is a breeze to have them help dump ingredients and stir for like a minute. boom. 

kids making elderberry syrup yellow bird blog easy recipe

A quick side note on why Elderberry Syrup works: Elderberries contain flavonoids which are chock full of antioxidant properties! That's why they are amazing to load up on when fighting off disgusting germs! You can read more about lots of benefits of the elderberries here.

So, without any more chatting, here's the recipe. (There's more information on the ingredients and why they're included and how they boost the immune system ( plus how we have used it)  below the recipe, but I thought I would give you what you came for first-- the recipe!) 

DIY Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Fight the flu with a natural remedy!
Nicole at The Yellow Bird

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1:00
Total time: 1:05
Yield: 5 Cups

  • 4 Cups of water
  • 3/4 Cups Dried Black Elderberries (I get mine from Amazon Here*)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Clove powder
  • 2 TBSP fresh grated ginger (or you can use dried ginger)
  • 2/3 Cup raw Honey (local is the best, but any raw honey will work)
  • Optional: 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (make sure it contains The Mother)


  1. Place water, elderberries, cinnamon powder, clove powder, and grated ginger in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for about an hour-- until the liquid has reduced to almost a half.
  4. Take a spoon (or another flat utensil) and smash the berries carefully in the pan to release every little bit of goodness!
  5. Pour liquid through a strainer into a bowl.
  6. Add in honey and apple cider vinegar.
  7. Stir well.
  8. Once the honey is mixed in well, use a funnel to pour the syrup into glass mason jars or a glass bottle (I love to use these from Ikea. Like the one in the cover photo)
  9. Store your syrup in the fridge.
Dosage: We take 1 tbs (adults) and a 1/2 tbs (kids) everyday during the fall and winter as a preventative measure. When fighting off sickness, take 1 tsp every 2-3 hours until you start feeling better
Remember: do not give to babies under 1 since it has honey in it. Pro tip-- find local honey to help boost immunity to local outdoor allergens! 
*Because of the huge increase in popularity of buying elderberries, they are getting harder and harder to find at a decent price! This etsy listing(with free shipping!)also looks really good and is a more reasonable price than what is found on Amazon currently. 
cinnamon elderberry syrup recipe benefits the yellow bird blog

Now let's talk about the benefits of the ingredients in elderberry syrup for the immune system

Elderberries: Full ofanthocyanidins andanthocyanin , which are chemicals that have  anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidants properties that help boost the immune system, as well asflavonoids, whichare chuck full of antioxidant properties and even bind to the flu virus.   Elderberries have actually been in quite a number of studies lately looking into the efficacy of the treatment of cold and flu viruses.One study looked at air travelers who began taking elderberry syrup 10 days before travelling until 4-5 days after they arrived overseas and found that, on average, they had cold symptoms for 2 days LESS, and their symptoms were noticeably more mild.And myfavorite study showed how elderberries shortened the symptoms and effect of the flu by 4 days! (and this is certainly been the case in our home as well. When we do get sick, the sickness seems to be less intense and pass through much more quickly. Our bodies are able to fight it off more effectively). You can read more about elderberry’s benefitshere.

Cinnamon: It is the #7 highest rated antioxidant!  It is also highly antimicrobial. Dr Axe hasa great video all about cinnamon and tons of great ways to use it for your health. (It is even super helpful for helping balance blood sugar and healing candida!)

Honey: Besides being incredibly soothing for your throat, raw honey contains antioxidants calledphenolic compounds. Some types of honey have as many antioxidants as fruits and vegetables. Read more abut honey's health benefitshere.

Apple Cider Vinegar: The healthy bacteria found in ACV can also promote immunity and support healthy lymphatic drainage. Plus apple cider vinegar contains good bacteria that can help give your immune system a quick boost. For more on ACV, check outthis article with tons of ACV benefits!

I mean, this syrup clearly works for a reason!

For more tips on naturally fighting the flu and cold virus,check out this post! And don't forget that washing your hands with soap is the best way to actually get rid of germs on your skin. Check outthis post on how soap works and actually gets the germs off your skin!  Better to stop them before they get into your body and your immune system has to fight them off.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Elderberry Syrup only good for the flu, or does it work for other viruses and colds?

Elderberry Syrup is a super immune booster. It helps your body do what it needs to! The ingredients help reduce inflammation so things can work thru your system faster, as well as binding and helping dump viruses. So Elderberry Syrup is ALWAYS a good idea, and especially when your immune system is under a lot of stress (whether it's situational stress or a physical stress like a virus or cold)

How do you store your Elderberry Syrup?

Store it in the fridge in an airtight container.

Is this recipe safe for children?

For Children over 1, yes! I wouldn’t do honey with children under 1.

How long does this recipe take to make?

It takes about 1 hr 30 minutes TOTAL. But most of that time it is just simmering on the stove.

Where can I get the ingredients to make elderberry syrup?

I get everything on Amazon or at Trader Joe’s or  Aldi’s. All these ingredients (save the dried elderberries-- I use etsy or amazon) are available at almost any grocery store.

Does Elderberry Syrup taste good?

Yes! My kids beg for their spoonful. It is sweet and full of cider like spice.

How do you store dried elderberries?

Store the dried elderberries in an airtight container out of direct sunlight. We keep ours in our pantry.




Nicole P
Nicole P

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